Area Students Selected For Northeast Nebraska Growing Together Cooperative Education Program

WAYNE – A new cooperative education program announced their inaugural scholarship winners earlier this month.

According to a release from Wayne State College, WSC will work alongside ‘Growing Together’, an Aksarben Workforce Initiative for the selective Northeast Nebraska Growing Together Cooperative Education program. Students who were selected will begin their education at Wayne State College as freshmen in the fall of 2020 for a three-year on-campus education followed by a fourth year of living and working in Norfolk with a local business during a nine-month period.

Area students being recognized include Cailee Brugger of Wayne (computer science); Mindy Demke of Wakefield (computer science); Ty Erwin of Laurel (business management); Brogan Jones of Allen (agri-business); Zoey Kreikemeier of West Point (marketing); Cory Martinson of Wausa (electronic media); Caroline Akinnigbagbe of Plainview (computer science) as well as Braden Ehlers (in accounting) and Raymond Mauldin both of Norfolk (in computer science).

Students were selected for the selective cooperative education program from the incoming freshmen class to live in a community of learners at Wayne State where they will receive a prescribed and accelerated curriculum that will prepare them to work in a Norfolk business during their senior year. The program is limited to students pursuing majors in either business, computer science, computer information systems, electronic media or journalism.

During the students’ first three years in Wayne, they will have the opportunity to engage with Norfolk business partners through site visits, job shadowing and mentorships. In their senior year, they will move to Norfolk where they will earn 18 credit hours by working about 30 hours per week in a local business. As part of the program, they are required to reside in housing in the downtown Norfolk area, which will provide them with the opportunity to engage academically and socially with their peers. Upon graduation, the goal is for the students to be hired into full-time positions in northeast Nebraska.

To ensure students have financial support to remain focused on this program, they were awarded a scholarship that provides $2,500 for the freshman year, $3,000 in the sophomore year, $3,500 in the junior year and $5,000 toward tuition as well as up to $10,000 in housing for the senior year. The total scholarship package to $24,000 per student.

The Aksarben Foundation is supporting the first cohort of cooperative education scholars with a gift of $360,000.

The cooperative education program is one of several strategies connected to the “Northeast Nebraska Growing Together” initiative that was developed as part of the Aksarben Foundation challenge to address the workforce crisis in Nebraska. Under the leadership of Mike Flood, founder of Flood Communications and News Channel Nebraska and current Aksarben board member, a group of community leaders identified six bold strategies to transform Northeast Nebraska. They include downtown development; founders in residence; cooperative scholarships; workforce retraining; artists in residence and early childhood education.


Complete list:

  • Caroline Akinnigbagbe of Plainview in computer science
  • Trevor Boggs of Greenwood in computer science
  • Cailee Brugger of Wayne in computer science
  • Noah Burwell of David City in computer science
  • Mindy Demke of Wakefield in computer science
  • Seth Dey of Syracuse in computer science
  • Gregory Downing of Chadron in computer science
  • Braden Ehlers of Norfolk in accounting
  • Ty Erwin of Laurel in business management
  • Oliver Fox of Lincoln in electronic media
  • Abigail Gardner of Chadron in business management
  • Aubree Howell of Omaha in marketing
  • Callasandra Hurley of York in electronic media
  • Brogan Jones of Allen in agri-business
  • Blake Kobs of Ashland in business management
  • Zoey Kreikemeier of West Point in marketing
  • Alexander Lyons of Dwight in business management
  • Cory Martinson of Wausa in electronic media
  • Raymond Mauldin of Norfolk in computer science
  • Delaney Meyer of Lincoln in journalism
  • Jaegher Ogden of Atkinson in business management
  • Austin Pierce of Brainard in office administration
  • Conor Ramold of Neligh in business management
  • Paige Sackschewsky of Waco in business management
  • Hailey Samson of York in computer information systems – programmer/analyst
  • Jakob Schaefer of Whitman in computer science
  • Summer Schroeder of Clearwater in finance
  • Jarvis Smith of Harvard in agri-business
  • Shane Stahn of Central City in business management
  • Amber Voboril of David City in business management